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“Taliban 2.0 is going to be worst, as its worldview remains unchanged, rooted in medieval ideologies”

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Zarifa Ghafari is seen addressing the State of EU conference in Brussels. She was the youngest mayor in Afghanistan before fleeing the country in August after three assassination attempts. (Photo: Twitter)

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There have been reports emerging that radical Islam is on the ascent in Bangladesh, Pakistan and even India since the Taliban took over Afghanistan.  “Bangladeshi-Swedish writer Taslima Nasrin said Hindu houses, temples, shops were destroyed in Bangladesh,” according to India Today, “but nobody has been brought to justice because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina backs radical Islamists.”  

Shipan Kumer Basu, President of the World Hindu Struggle Committee, provided an overview in an exclusive interview:

“During the last 6 years of Sheikh Hasina’s rule, 6,555 attacks on minorities have resulted in 564 deaths, 9,791 injuries, 296 abductions, 698 rapes and 296 forced conversions, 2,926 houses were attacked, 1,333 temples were attacked, 5,139 families were forced to flee the country, 40,000 acres of land were evicted and 154,529 people were affected. The real picture of minorities in the country is even more frightening. There are many more incidents besides the ones mentioned which did not come up in any media.”

However, with the rise of the Taliban to power, there are fears that the situation will further deteriorate: “Over the past few weeks, extremists Muslims have carried out barbaric attacks on Hindus by placing the Qur’an in a Hindu puja mandap (temporary places of worship). The people of the Buddhist community were not left out either.  Due to false rumors of blasphemy, in more than 31 districts, Hindu idols were vandalized, Hindu homes were attacked and looted, and many Hindu women were gang raped.”   

From Basu’s perspective, Bangladesh has always been associated with developments in Afghanistan – and the rise of the Taliban there has led to a euphoria of radicalism in Bangladesh, which has a government that was already pampering radical Islamists,

“To please Hefazat, Sheikh Hasina has already removed the writings of 17 famous Hindu writers from the textbooks in 2016.  On pages 16 and 17 of the 5th grade Islam and Moral Education book, the character of a non-Muslim is distorted. The character of a non-Muslim is described there as ‘they are greedy and inferior to animals.’ Thus, non-Muslims are constantly being harassed and Hindus are being forced to read the history of Islam.”

Simultaneously, earlier this week, radical Islamists clashed with the police while en route to Pakistan’s capital city. These riots, which did result in the death of a couple of police officers, resulted in the government releasing 350 banned Islamist activists. At the same time, there are also reports of Pakistani cricketeers praising radical Islam and promoting bigotry against non-Muslims. A recent Gallop poll found that 55% of Pakistanis would support the installation of a radical Islamist government similar to the Taliban in Afghanistan.      

And in Afghanistan itself, the situation is deteriorating by the day, thus increasing the possibility that such radicalism will influence the entire region. The European Parliament recently held an international conference on “the situation of women’s rights in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover.”  The conference was organized by Manel Msalmi, a well-known feminist and human rights activist. 

One of the speakers was Mrs. Zarifa Ghafari, a former Afghani mayor of Maidan Shar. In the conference, Ghafari proclaimed: “Afghanistan has undergone drastic changes in the past few weeks. Since Taliban has illegitimately wrested power on 15 August 2021, it has been building a narrative of a ‘moderate Taliban’ to gain recognition from the International community. The messaging is focused on amnesty, community reconciliation, stability and reconstruction. In fact Taliban spokespersons had made a number of statements indicating formation of an “inclusive,” administration. However, the benign mask of Taliban has gone as the Taliban has formed an overwhelming ethnic, all-male government and is anything but inclusive. A large number of its members are on the UN global list of terrorists. Further there have been reports of escalating violence, gross human rights violations and retributive and ethnic killings.”

According to her, “It is becoming clear that Taliban 2.0 is going to be worse, as its worldview remains unchanged, rooted in medieval ideologies. Especially on the crucial issue of women rights. In the first Taliban news conference after the group regained control of the Afghan capital, Kabul, Taliban spokesperson, Zabiullah Mujahid sought to reassure women. ‘Our sisters, our men have the same rights,’ he said. Officially, in these talks, Taliban leaders emphasize that they wish to grant women’s rights ‘according to Islam.’”

“The Islamists proceeded to immediately abolish the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, indicating a tough path ahead for women in the country,” she noted. “The new government formed by the Taliban is all male, comprising mostly mullahs. Even in the Ministry of Education, female professionals are absent. The Taliban’s Higher Education Ministry consulted only male teachers and students on resuming the function of universities.”   

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Ghafari proclaimed that Afghani women know the Taliban’s history very well: “The Taliban ruled all of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. Everyone faced restrictions under their conservative interpretation of Islam, but those imposed on women were the most stringent. Women couldn’t leave their homes without a male guardian, and were required to cover their bodies from head to toe in a long robe called a burqa. They could not visit health centers, attend school or work.”

She claimed that a 2010 Human Rights Watch report noted that the Taliban has not changed since then: “in areas they control or influence, the Taliban have threatened and attacked women in public life and ordinary women who work outside their homes. Therefore, it is imperative to judge all the proclamations made by the Taliban leaders at the international stage about their commitment towards women’s rights and gender equality on the basis of their actions rather than mere rhetoric.”

In conclusion, Ghafari proclaimed: “Afghanistan stands on the edge of an abyss. The only thing certain about the current crisis in Afghanistan is uncertainty. However, Afghan women are fighting back, taking to the streets and protesting, even in the face of violence from the Taliban and attempts to ban protest. Gender equality, though not a fundamental right, is a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world. Afghan women’s voices should be heard. We are in this together.”

Ahmad Wali Ahmad-Yar, the Secretary General of the Network of Afghani Diaspora Organizations in Europe, added:There is a naïve believe in the west, mostly fabricated by politicians, that the Taliban has changed, or the Taliban promised to make inclusive government, or they allow women to have their rights, which is all against what the Taliban stand for. If the Taliban start doing this, they will not exist anymore, their donors will not support them, their fighters will not fight for them, and they will lose their essence. Expecting the Taliban to change or respect human rights is out of reality.”

According to him, “We all know that the Taliban are with all their power and believe against women and their activities and it will be a long walk to get what Afghan women deserve but I call for international unity, solidarity and common work to fight for their cause.”

He called upon the international community to not give any legitimacy to the Taliban: “As the people of Afghanistan, we call upon Americans and their European partners to stop playing with the destiny of our people.  You have lost your war and please leave our people to find a solution for themselves, not empower a terrorist group by making excuses for humanitarian aid for the people of Afghanistan.”

“The West should admit their diplomatic and military defeat against the Taliban and now they should allow Afghans to continue their fight, and if they want to support, they should support the people of Afghanistan particularly Afghan women,” Ahmad Yar stressed.   

The coach of women’s national team volleyballer Mahjabin Hakimi revealed she had been executed by the Taliban for playing without a veil; she was of Hazara origin, a Mongolian people targeted for persecution. (capricho.abril.com.br)

If the West seeks to prevent the Talibanization of Central Asia, then it is of critical importance that we stand in solidarity with moderates and dissidents in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, who are seeking a better tomorrow.  The West should not treat the Taliban as a reformed organization, for it is not.  It is the same Taliban that was overthrown in 2001. The only difference is that they are smarter. 

The difference between the Taliban today and the Taliban back then, is like the difference between former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and present Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi. While Rouhani was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, who all the time shook the hands of Western leaders and smiled for the cameras while building nuclear weapons, Raisi is a wolf who makes no secret about the fact that he is a wolf and shoves it in the face of Western leaders, which is why the Iranian nuclear talks are going nowhere despite Biden’s best efforts. 

Similarly, the Taliban before 2001 was like Raisi, while the Taliban today is like Rouhani. However, in both cases, it is the same wolf.  Yet, the wolf in sheep’s clothing is more dangerous and deadly than the wolf that behaves like a wolf, as the wolf in sheep’s clothing can be deceptive and trick you into letting your guard down, thus endangering the free world in the process.    

Rachel Avraham is a political analyst working at the Safadi Center for International Diplomacy, Research, Public Relations and Human Rights.  She is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings at the American, Israeli and Arab Media.”  

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Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

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